Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing


HUD Final Rule on Smoke Free Policies in Public Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published a final rule with an implementation date in July 2018 for each Public Housing Agency administering low-income, conventional public housing to initiate a smoke-free policy. 

Public Housing Authorities are mandated to implement and enforce a smoke free policy that prohibits smoking inside housing units and buildings, as well as prohibit smoking outside less than 25 feet from buildings, including entrances/exits.

Read the Final Ruling


Resources to help with implementing smoke free policies:


How Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke and Aerosol Effects Homes

Secondhand Smoke is the smoke that emanates from a lit burning cigarette, cigar or pipe; secondhand aerosol is from an electronic nicotine delivery system or vapor product.

Thirdhand Smoke or aerosol is the residue left behind from tobacco smoke/vape particles that settle on all surfaces.Image of apartment building

Tobacco smoke and aerosol are invasive and travel throughout a building by seeping through doors, plumbing and electrical outlets, vents, lighting fixtures and windows. There is no known ventilation or air cleaning system that can eliminate all the toxins from this smoke/aerosol.  Sealing outlets, cracks and other places where smoke/aerosol seeps through does not eliminate the smoke/aerosol traveling from room to room or unit to unit. There is no safe amount of exposure to secondhand or thirdhand smoke.  Breathing even a little can be dangerous.

The only way to eliminate secondhand and thirdhand smoke from the building, room or home is to not allow smoking and vaping. There are no Federal or State laws preventing owners or landlords from banning smoking and vaping from the property. Smokers/vapers are not a protected class. Smoking bans in multi-unit housing and properties are cost effective; maintenance and repair costs are lower in non-smoking units and properties.

To learn more about cost, read the Cost Impact Chart.


Smoke-Free Housing Tips

  • Post signs letting people know that the building is smoke and vape free.
  • Do not allow people to smoke or vape in your home.  Ask them to smoke outside at least 25-50 feet from the doorways, windows and vents to the home.
  • Do not allow smoking or vaping in your car or vehicle.
  • If you rent, ask your landlord or apartment manager to create smoke and vape free policies for the building and grounds.

If a tenant has a medical condition that is aggravated by smoking or vaping, they may file a complaint with Housing and Urban Development.  A medical condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is considered a disability under this law which offers protection for tenants.


Other Resources


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This page was last updated on October 18, 2021